An old work situation, my then boss asking players at a game meeting: “Are saying that want to be able to push a button called ‘Play Game’?!” Several of the players did in fact say “Yes”. A great example of how a room full of players, and in this case customers, want different things, to push things in different directions. The context was to do with whether to simplify some complex mechanics down to a simple process, some wanted it, others preferred to micro-manage things. The following week at work had some lively conversation, but the upshot being goods things were designed.
One of the regular tabletop games I’ve been running has the working title ‘WoD: Sliders’; this is not the TV Series Sliders, but I have used that title because things can slide between realities, they just need a Push. To summarise, characters exist in different realities, the PCs are a connection between the realities, each an axis. I almost choose this game for yesterday’s topic, because the players are investigating a problem that has clues in different realities; player clue file is currently 30 pages. 🙂 In one reality the PC is a Mage, whilst in other realities they are either a: Changeling, Werewolf, Wraith, Mummy, Vampire and finally Hunter. The players have various multi-reality powers, for example they can Push things between realities. Linking back to my opening anecdote, the players choose to have these mechanics hidden from them, to effectively have a button they can push that keeps things simple for them at the start, and they FOIP the powers (Find Out in Play). So far the characters have used a few Push powers, but are not sure exactly what is happening and have become suspicious of them.
Whilst I had wanted to run a game with the players understanding the big picture going in, so their PCs would have control over their multi-reality powers, but the players choose otherwise. I am happy enough that they liked the idea, trusted me to run it, and crucially I didn’t push the system on to them.
Street Fighter RPG
I recently looked through some old SFRPG house rules I made many years ago. One big topic I pushed back then was Fight Camp Preparation. Since then I have learned a lot more about game design, different martial arts and training in general, so some of these old ideas are laughable to me; thankfully a few still hold up IMHO. One of the dodgy ideas was that of a character pushing fitness. The idea actually goes back to old games: Panza Kick Boxing (Amiga) and C64 Barry McGuigan World Championship Boxing, both of which had fight camp mini-games.
Note I’ve not posted the mechanics here, because they were part of a package, which I think needs a solid rework. I wouldn’t want to push ideas that I think are faulty. 😉
Other Peoples’ Answers
Anthony Boyd @Runeslinger
Charles Etheridge-Nunn @charlie_en
Sue Savage @SavageSpiel
Craig Oxbrow @CraigOxbrow
John M. Kahane @jkahane1
Geek-Life Balance @cybogoblin
Paul Baldowski @deesanction
This is a non-exhaustive list; I still have many posts to read today, so I might be adding more links. I’d recommend searching the hashtag and judge those great answers for yourself: #RPGaDay2020, some people use #RPGaDay.